By Vanne Terrazola
Senator Joel Villanueva has stressed the urgency of putting up stricter policies in the entry of alien workers in the country to prevent the entry of foreign nationals who are involved in illegal drugs.
The chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development made the appeal following the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s (PDEA) raid last Tuesday inside the posh Ayala-Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City, which resulted in the arrest of four Chinese nationals and a P1.1-billion drug haul.
“Malamang ang mga dayuhang nahuli sa buy-bust operation ng PDEA ay walang karampatang permit na manatili o magtrabaho dito. Naniniwala po ako na mas mapapadali po ang trabaho ng ating mga antinarcotics agents kung sa point of entry pa lang, sinasala na ng maigi ang mga pumapasok sa ating bansa (The foreigners arrested in the buy-bust operation of the PDEA probably do not have the proper permits to stay or work here. I believe the job of our antinarcotics agents will be a lot easier had we screened carefully those who go to our country at the point of entry),” Villanueva said in a recent statement.
“We have to do a better job at securing our borders, and preventing undesirable foreigners from entering our shores,” he added.
The senator, who led the Senate inquiries on the influx of illegal foreign workers in the Philippines, said he looks forward to the memorandum circular being drafted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III earlier said the memo was being prepared by interagency committee created to regulate the entry of foreign nationals who intend to work in the country.
Under the proposed memo, foreigners might be required to secure first a working visa from Philippine consular offices in their respective countries, Bello said.
The memo would also supposedly allow Filipinos to object to the hiring of a foreign national before the issuance of an alien employment permit.
The interagency task force led by the DOLE — with the departments of Finance, Justice, Trade and Industry; as well as the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Immigration, and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation — was scheduled to sign the memorandum circular last March 15.
“Inaasahan natin na mababawasan ang mga iligal na banyagang manggagawa dito sa atin kapag nailatag na ang bagong panuntunan na ito (We hope that illegal foreign workers here will decline once the new policies are laid out),” Villanueva said.
“Wala po dapat puwang sa ating bayan ang mga nagdadala ng iligal na droga, at hindi dapat pinapayagan na makatungtong, at lalong lalo na na magtrabaho, ang mga taong ito sa ating bayan (There should be no place for those who bring illegal drugs in our country. These people should not be allowed to set foot, especially work, here),” he appealed as he lauded the PDEA in their operation.